Category list : Anatomy and physiology of ageing
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Anatomy and physiology of ageing 11: the skinSubscription
The skin performs several key functions that are increasingly impaired in ageing. This article describes skin ageing, its mechanisms and effects, and the essentials of looking after older people’s skin
Bones and skeletal muscles undergo a gradual age-related degeneration that accelerates frailty and makes older people more prone to sarcopenia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and falls
Age brings about changes to the immune system that mean older people are less able to defend themselves against infection from foreign pathogens
Age brings about changes to the male and female reproductive systems that lead to loss of fertility and the physical and psychological symptoms of the menopause and andropause
Ageing negatively affects hormone secretion by the glands of the endocrine system, which makes older people more prone to insomnia, fractures, diabetes and cognitive changes
Normal age-related changes to the eyes and ears mean older people gradually see, hear and balance less well. Regular testing to detect common sight and hearing pathologies is essential
Like all body systems, the nervous system goes through inevitable age-related changes, including a loss of brain cells, but ageing does not necessarily lead to confusion or dementia
Like all body systems, the renal system goes through an inevitable decline in its function as the body ages, but in the absence of disease it will function adequately throughout life
The many functions of the digestive system are differently affected by age, making older people more prone to gastrointestinal conditions
The normal ageing process brings about changes to the respiratory system which mean older people are at increased risk of respiratory tract infections. What exactly happens and why?